Friday, January 15, 2010

Bass Boats and Queer Marriage...

Joe Bageant:
"...If you have watched any old mob movies, you know that any racket needs a front. In America the front is called democracy. Like the term populism, the people have no idea what democracy really is, but has something to do with the free market capitalism that issues forth such things as bass boats. And it certainly it has to do with every citizen having a small piece in the determination of national matters. Clearly untrue as that is, nevertheless it is one helluva a sales point, revered by the proles and not to be fucked with if you are to maintain the illusion of the consent of the people among the people. The front.

So the people are given such narrow electoral choices as not to even be real choices, but packaged in somewhat different wrappers -- such as skin color. Or if a president and Congress can see a clear path in rolling over the dimwits out there, the dimwits are given no choice at all. Such as going to war against Iraq.

Still, there are always those citizens who will not settle for simply voting based on what they have been fed. They detect the odor of swill, but cannot quite name the ingredients. So they feel they must test democracy, exercise their uncontrolled "freedom of choice," as fully as possible through activism.

So they turn to one of the two controlling political parties to put them to work. After all, anyone who doesn't is considered a kook. Right?

In a marvelous bit of Mobius strip logic, the activists end up working toward the success of some minute difference in national policy that serves the purposes of the established power cartels. The main difference is in the degree of profitability for the corporate state. More profit or a helluva lot more profit.

In the end the activists find themselves working for the election of someone who, by the very nature of being selected as a candidate by the system, has been vetted by his or her own elite peers as one who will -- ta ta! -- preserve the system from change.

Nevertheless, the activists have their issues by god and by golly, and cling to them every step of the way. The issues come prepackaged to fit their established belief systems. No great trick really, given that the corporate people at the top own all the media and information distribution and make the first cut. And there's something for everybody's political stocking. When the issue is not wrapped up in religion or blood-in-the-face patriotism by corporate managed conservative elves, it is packaged as a moral or social justice issue for liberals.

And so, charged up on emotion, activist proponents of both minute differences attack one another at every turn, both sides convinced they are fighting the good fight in one or another "important issue of our times." Gay marriage, gun laws, abortion, animal rights, you name it. It's small stuff in the big picture. None of these mean anything in the monotonic gray life under the emerging corporate totalist state. So you both have the same plumbing and are married. So what? What is that worth if you spend your life chained to a headset in one of the corporate gulags' cubicles punching out digits for the overlords so you can keep your health insurance? Terrified of losing your job or insurance, or being forced to join the Army and go to Iraq to put bread on the table?

Freedom is freedom, and you have it across the board or you do not. It does not come piecemeal and is not defined by any single freedom. Human freedom is holistic -- full spectrum. It covers everything because, well, it's freedom.

In a free country none of the above pseudo issues would be being debated. Bottom line on freedom: You have the right to fuck any other adult you want to by mutual consent. You can marry anyone you choose regardless of sex or race or religion. Even a member of the US Senate if you have the stomach for it. Your body is your own to do with as you see fit, not governable by state laws or for profitable abuse by pharmaceutical corporations or the medical industry.

The 24/7 deluge of falsely manufactured issues has done more than detract from comprehension of the real and life or death issues at hand. Over a couple of generations, it has rendered us incapable of ever grasping the real ones and what is at stake. The ability to do so dies out, as each subsequent generation is conditioned by the reality (or state induced non-reality), it comes up in.
Important as they look and feel because we have lived our entire lives amid these so-called national debates, they have nothing to do with our freedom. Freedom itself was always, and will always be The Issue. The only issue. Everything else follows. The Big Lie is that it does not...."
Read entire piece.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Bageant's right on the money, as usual, and sees this sorry fucked-up nation for what it is: a cesspool of corrupt and incorrigible elites running the show and fronting the whole spectacle behind the terminated idea of "democracy" and "freedom". It's been a long time in the making; it certainly didn't commence nine years ago, as far too many "liberal-minded" people like to think, but it goes back a lot farther. It didn't even begin with the Reagan years, though it certainly accelerated during those years. The changes started almost imperceptibly, and definitely without being noticed (except by a select few), until now the plundering and robbing is at warp speed. The corporatists are firmly entrenched and in the driver's seat. We, the working class who mistakenly think we're middle class, aren't even in the back seat. We're tied up in the trunk, effectively gagged, and being held for a ransom that nobody will, or can, pay. The elite and the moneyed are on a joyride, after robbing us of every penny we have, and don't have, and are speeding toward oblivion with the top down.

Capitalism, or some sort of capital-"something", has hijacked America and is fronting as the way to salvation. Except, true capitalism never had a chance and really never existed. It's a theory taught in microeconomics to college students, extrapolated in macro-theory, and signed-on as the ultimate truth before considering other options. But, isn't this the way Americans always have been -- smitten with what sounds good, convinced by what enhances their egotistical self-image of "rugged individual" and "freedom loving" pioneer?

The joy ride's coming to an end. The bridge is washed-out and the stream is over the banks. The elite bailed at the last traffic light, and we're still holding out hope that help is on the way. So typically American.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Bageant received the attached response, which couldn't be more articulate and correct in its assessment. Of course, Joe's reply put everything into perspective.

3:35 PM  

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